House Speaker John Boehner Wednesday criticized President Obama’s State of the Union speech for barely touching on runaway federal spending and reducing astronomical national debt, but he nonetheless believed both parties could cooperate to “resolve what is possible.” Boehner spoke to Kathleen Parker, on CNN’s “Parker Spitzer,” in his first broadcast interview since the speech.
He also told Parker that “if you really want to talk about what the ‘Sputnik Moment’ is, it's the fact that we're broke.” Boehner was referring to Obama saying the nation faced a "Sputnik Moment,” where it needs to surmount financial challenges by investing in education and infrastructure, just as the nation vigorously responded to the Soviets beating the United States into space a half century ago, when they launched the Sputnik satellite.
“The American people know we're broke and they want us to do something about spending,” he said. “I think that we need to have both parties working together to help explain to the American people the size of the problem and an array of possible solutions and out of that conversation we'll begin to resolve what is possible. I'm not going to say it's going to be easy but we're going to find some way to find common ground in cutting spending.”
Parker asked whether the answer would be raising taxes.
“Raising taxes is the wrong prescription for where we are.” Boehner said. “The most important thing we can do to increase federal revenues is to get the American people back to work. You're not going to get people back to work by taxing the very people that we expect to reinvest in our economy.
“The president talked about tax reform last night and I think there are ways where we can simplify both the corporate tax code and the personal tax code,” he continued. “And I'm optimistic that we can work together on that.”
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